Fifty-five million Americans work as freelancers. That’s 35% of the US workforce, a proportion that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. In many ways, the mainstreaming of freelancing is good news for freelance workers and those of us who love the flexibility of the freelance life. But, the more freelancers there are, the stiffer the competition for clients. The real secret of freelance marketing is word-of-mouth, but for new freelancers or those who want to boost their exposure, a website is invaluable.
A freelance website is a space on the web devoted to showcasing your talents as a freelancer, demonstrating to prospective clients what you can do, what you think, and who you are. On today’s web, creating a website is a cinch — you don’t need to hire a designer or developer: modern content management systems are easy to set up and manage. WordPress is the most popular of these CMS’s. In fact, WordPress powers about a quarter of the most popular sites on the web.
There’s no shortage of alternatives to WordPress. The web has an over-abundance of publishing platforms, from Facebook to Medium to Jekyll, and hundreds more. So why choose WordPress for your freelancing business rather than publishing on a social media network like LinkedIn or a slick platform like Medium.
No platform is as flexible as self-hosted WordPress. Facebook and Twitter offer rich opportunities to connect to other people — and so does LinkedIn for a specific audience. The medium has an elegant writing and publishing interface. Instagram is great for sharing and browsing photos. The main community of WordPress is that it can do all these things and more, depending on how you want to use it. And using WordPress doesn’t mean that you can’t use other platforms, but it does mean that your content is, in the first instance, hosted on a powerful content management system entirely under your control.
WordPress can be your blog, but it can also be your portfolio, your photo sharing site, your lead generation site, your eCommerce store, and so much more.
WordPress is free, and it’s free in two different ways. Firstly, WordPress is free because it costs no money to use it. You’ll need web hosting and a domain, which do cost money, but WordPress itself is free and it always will be.
Perhaps the more important freedom offered by WordPress is the freedom to control your content and the platform it’s published on. The only business your WordPress site needs to generate money for is your freelancing business. There’s no chance that your WordPress site will be pivoted or sunsetted out from under you. It’s your website, and it’s totally under your control.
But isn’t WordPress complicated to install and manage? For a moderately technical person, WordPress shouldn’t present much of a problem. A decent hosting company will take care of installing WordPress on your hosting account, and its support team will be more than happy to help you if you run into trouble. The WordPress community is massive and always willing to lend a hand to a new WordPress user.
If you’re thinking of building a site to promote your freelance business, you won’t regret choosing WordPress.
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